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Video Games Show Some Potential To Moderate Kids’ Eating, Activity Behaviors

December 7, 2010: 10:01 AM EST

U.S. and British researchers have found that video games might prove effective at overcoming children’s reluctance to follow a healthier lifestyle. In a randomized clinical trial involving 153 children ages 10 to 12 years, a treatment group played video games called “Escape from Diab” and “Nanoswarm: Invasion from Inner Space,” both of which are epic adventures designed to lower type 2 diabetes risk by changing diet and physical activity. The control group played online diet and physical-activity knowledge games. The children were monitored before, during and after playing games, and again after two months. According to the researchers, the children who played the video games increased their fruit and vegetable consumption by about 2/3 serving a day. But they did not drink more water, increase vigorous activity, or show body composition improvements.

Tom Baranowski, PhD, et al., "Video Game Play, Child Diet, and Physical Activity Behavior Change - A Randomized Clinical Trial", American Journal of Preventive Medicine, December 07, 2010, © Elsevier B.V.
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